Wednesday, June 19, 2013

May 28, 2013
Hola familia y amigos :)
This last week was amazing!  Full of miracles and tender mercies from the Lord.
Wednesday night, we taught Ma...... about tithing and fasting, and then we had his baptism interview (wow, I am struggling to remember my gospel vocab in English).  The District Leader couldn't make it, so the Zone Leaders came out to do it.  Thank goodness they both speak Spanish!  They didn't come until 8:20 though, so we left as soon as they got there. Good thing, because it takes 45 minutes to get home, and they didn't finish the interview until 9:20! Elder Ho...... called to tell me how it went and he said, "Don't worry, we have permisison from the Zone Leaders to get home late." Haha :)
Ma.........'s baptism was on Saturday, and it all went well! There were more than twenty people there, and every role on the program was done by someone different.  There is so much branch support there! You could tell that Ma........ knew that what he was doing was something very sacred and important.  He truly is committed to the Lord.  Apparently on Friday, he got bucked off of his horse for the first time, and landed face first.  But he told us, "I knew that it was just Satan trying to get me to not be baptized today.  I wouldn't let him get to me."  How amazing is he?  I cannot express how humbled and blessed I feel to be one of the missionaries to teach this man. 
Another miracle:
Tuesday we went to contact Wi......., a boy (like 17ish) who hasn't ever shown up for the appointments that we set with him.  Sister H has felt pretty tired of going over there, but for some reason I have kept wanting to go.  So we finally go on Tuesday, and his older brother answers the door (we hadn't met him before).  We ask him if Wi...... is there, and he said, "Yeah, but he is downstairs playing a game.  But I would like to talk to you."  At this point I was like "Ooooh no.  He is going to yell at us and tell us never to come back again", because he was kind of a tough looking guy! But then he said, "Yeah, my mom and sister are home, so can you come in?" *jaw drop*
We go inside and sit down with him, and he tells us that he is just moving back in for the summer, and he has been going to school in Orem.  Apparently he went to church several times growing up, and was involved in boy scouts.  Up at school, he has been in this ROC group, which is a cultural singing and dancing group up in Provo.  They perform at a lot of firesides, and when they went down to LA, they stopped by the Visitors Center at the temple.  He said that through these experiences, he has gained a testimony, and he wants us to teach him the lessons so that he can get baptized. WHAAAAT???? He also said that he is interested in getting his temple recommend after he is baptized, so that he can do baptisms for the dead.  In addition to that, he asked us, "I know that my parents aren't very interested in the Gospel, but is there a way that I can still be sealed to them?"..........WHAAAAT????? Oooh gosh! So we taught him the entire first lesson right there, (testifying, inspired questions, how to begin teaching points, visuals, everything) and put him on date for June 15th.
He got work off so that he could go to church on Sunday, and he stayed for all three hours. And he said the closing prayer in Priesthood.  And he asked Wyatt if he could baptize him.  We taught him the third time yesterday, so now we are finished with the Restoration, Plan of Salvation, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Miracles happen! I love finding people who are SO prepared!
Have an amazing week! Keep the prayers coming-- they really work!
Hermana Burner
May 20, 2013
Buenos dias, familia y amigos!
This last weekend was so great!  I had my first spanish baptism, Ch..... L.....  It was so great!  Everything just worked out perfectly.  We made it there with plenty of time, a counselor in the bishopric and the ward mission leader were already there and had everything set up- (font filled!), we had the programs ready.  Ch..... got there early to get dressed, tons of his family and friends came, everything! It was so great!  Sister H and I gave the talks (I did about 1/3 of mine in English because most of the people there couldn't speak Spanish, but all of Sis. H's and the rest of mine was in Spanish), and I played the piano.
Ch...... couldn't stop smiling throughout the whole thing.  He is so excited to be one step closer to going to the temple with his wife.  They are going to be such an adorable eternal family! She is having a baby in a few weeks.  So cute!
Yesterday, I went to the Elsinore branch while Sister H went to Ch......'s confirmation (my comp was Sister Bl..... from Elsinore and Sister H was with Da....).  It was good to be with Ma........ at church--he was super excited to see me when I went to sit down next to him!  The talks were on the Plan of Salvation, which was perfect to give him a little review of the second lesson.  Then in Sunday School, it was just Brother N.... (ward mission leader), The Bl......s' (they are ward missionaries), Ma......... and me.  We went over the Articles of Faith, which was also perfect because it allowed us to review the entire Gospel of Jesus Christ (lesson 3) through the 4th Article of Faith.
Ma........ likes to talk a lot, but it was good that he talked a lot during Sunday School because I feel like I got to know him a little better.  He is divorced and has two sons.  He has been drug/alcohol/cigarette free for something like 16 years, but he is still striving to become a better person so that he feels worthy to talk to his sons again. That is what motivated him to open the Book of Mormon, and then to call us to tell us that he wanted to be baptized.  He loves the Spirit that he can feel at church, and it seems like he is almost addicted to it--he can't get enough of it!  He also said that when we first told him that there was a Spanish Branch, he didn't believe us because he didn't think there were enough Hispanics here, and then when he came to the Branch for the first time and saw that it was true, he was overwhelmed with gratitude--especially because of the amount of gringos that attend the branch and are able to speak Spanish (there are a lot of families who come where the parents both served Spanish speaking missions).
Aty one point he got a little emotional and said that he was so grateful for the examples that my companion and I set for him, being so young yet so faithful and willing to serve.  He reallly humbles me a lot-- here he is a grown man, probably in his 50's, and he is so willing to listen to, learn from, and even emulate the examples of two little girls.  He is so amazing.
The Branch President announced Ma.........'s baptixm during Sacrament Meeting, and it sounds like there should be plenty of people there.  They are even planning on having a waffle party after the baptism.  And there are plenty of people willing to participate in the program.  I am just so excited for this next weekend!
I love you all! And I hope you each have a wonderful week.
Hermana Burner